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Beacon Power Begins Commercial Operations In New York

New York.
by Staff Writers
Tyngsboro MA (SPX) Jan 31, 2011
Beacon Power has announced that it has energized and interconnected eight megawatts (8 MW) of flywheel energy storage and is now earning revenue at its frequency regulation plant in Stephentown, New York.

All interconnection systems between the Stephentown plant and local utility provider NYSEG's substation are operational to enable the full 20 MW plant to come online. Additional megawatts of energy storage capacity will be progressively energized, thereby increasing the plant's revenue. Beacon's website will be updated to reflect total interconnected capacity.

Last month Beacon announced that it was ready to connect a substantial portion of the plant to the grid and was waiting for NYSEG to finish testing the substation.

"With this live connection of our first grid-scale flywheel energy storage system, the Stephentown plant is now providing clean, long-life, fast-response frequency regulation services to the people of New York," said Bill Capp, Beacon president and CEO.

"This is a major step in establishing our merchant plant business throughout the open-bid electricity markets in the U.S. and will accelerate our ability to market and sell turnkey facilities in vertical markets across North America and overseas."

New York ISO president and CEO Stephen G. Whitley said, "The use of advanced, grid-scale storage technologies will be an integral part of the grid of the future and help create a more robust, reliable power system while lowering costs for consumers.

"As the first grid operator in the nation to implement federally approved energy storage market rules, we have attracted significant attention and investment from companies like Beacon Power. Beacon's new flywheel technology is a promising addition to our resource mix that will help improve system efficiency as well as our efforts to integrate more renewable energy."

At full capacity, the Company's Stephentown plant will provide 20 MW of regulation service to the New York power grid, or approximately 10% of the state's typical daily demand. Frequency regulation is an essential grid-stabilizing service that is typically performed by slower, less-efficient fossil fuel generators.

Flywheel-based energy storage is proven technology that can provide the same service faster and more effectively, with zero fuel consumption or CO2 emissions. Unlike chemical battery-based systems, the storage capacity of Beacon's kinetic energy flywheel technology does not degrade as a function of charge and discharge cycles, time or temperature.

"We're proud to be a partner with Beacon Power for what will be New York's first flywheel-based energy storage facility," said Francis J. Murray Jr., president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). "I congratulate the company for its role in helping to create a more efficient and reliable electric grid."

NYSERDA is supporting Beacon's Stephentown project with a $2 million investment. NYSERDA has invested in a number of energy-storage systems around the state as part of its continued interest in developing a clean-energy economy.

New York State Senator George Maziarz added, "As Chairman of the State Senate Energy Committee, I want to congratulate Beacon Power on the start of operations at their flywheel energy storage plant. Flywheel technology has proven to be both dependable and environmentally friendly. This plant will improve the efficiency and reliability of New York's electrical grid - and most importantly, it will save consumers money."

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